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What is OpenAI DALL-E?

by Stephen M. Walker II, Co-Founder / CEO

What is OpenAI DALL-E?

OpenAI's DALL-E is a series of generative AI models capable of creating digital images from natural language descriptions, known as "prompts." The models, including DALL-E, DALL-E 2, and the latest DALL-E 3, use deep learning methodologies to generate a wide range of images, from realistic to surreal, based on the text input they receive.

The original DALL-E was introduced in January 2021 and is a 12-billion parameter version of GPT-3 trained to generate images from text descriptions using a dataset of text-image pairs. DALL-E 2, which came out in April 2022, marked an evolution in the technology, employing a diffusion model that can generate higher quality images with four times the resolution of its predecessor. It also improved in terms of speed and the capability to generate larger images.

DALL-E 3, the latest iteration, continues to demonstrate the power of diffusion models in deep learning and has been integrated with OpenAI's language model, potentially allowing for more seamless interactions between text and image generation.

The name "DALL-E" is a portmanteau of the famous surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and Pixar's animated robot Wall-E, reflecting the model's ability to create abstract and imaginative illustrations.

Users can access DALL-E through OpenAI's API, which is available in public beta, and the service is billed on a cost-per-image basis, with prices varying based on image size and discounts available for volume through OpenAI's enterprise sales organization.

DALL-E has a wide range of applications, including in creative fields, education, design, and marketing, by generating custom artwork, visual aids, and illustrations from textual descriptions. However, it's worth noting that while DALL-E can produce impressive images, it may struggle with certain elements such as composition, spelling, and objects it doesn't recognize.

What is the dataset used to train Dall-E?

OpenAI's DALL-E models are trained on large datasets consisting of text-image pairs. The exact composition of these datasets is not publicly detailed, but they are known to be extensive and diverse to cover a wide range of concepts and subjects. For DALL-E 2, OpenAI curated a massive dataset to ensure it represented the real world, and the model was trained using supervised learning to generate images from text descriptions.

The training data for DALL-E 2 included approximately 650 million images sampled from the CLIP and DALL-E datasets. When training the encoder, images from both datasets were used with equal probability. However, for training the decoder, upsamplers, and prior, only the DALL-E dataset was used, which consists of approximately 250 million images. Incorporating the noisier CLIP dataset while training the generative stack was found to negatively impact performance.

Additionally, OpenAI has taken steps to mitigate biases and prevent the regurgitation of training images. They have implemented data filtering and deduplication to improve the model's performance and originality in image generation. The WebImageText dataset, composed of 400 million pairs of images and their corresponding natural language descriptions, was used to train the CLIP model, which is related to the DALL-E project.

How does Dall-E work?

DALL-E is a generative AI model developed by OpenAI, designed to generate images from text descriptions. It's a variant of the language-processing model GPT-3, with 12 billion parameters, trained on text-image pairs from the internet. The model takes a sequence of tokenized image caption followed by tokenized image patches as input.

DALL-E works by using a number of technologies including natural language processing (NLP), large language models (LLMs), and diffusion models. It uses an encoder-decoder architecture that encodes the text description into a high-dimensional vector that represents both the text and image content. The model then decodes this embedding back to an image using a diffusion model.

The training data for DALL-E consists of a large dataset made up of pairs of images and their related text descriptions. The model learns to associate visual cues with the semantic meaning of text instructions. It creates an image from a sample of its learned probability distribution of images in response to a text prompt.

DALL-E has the ability to manage the characteristics of a handful of objects, including their count and spatial relation to each other. It's also capable of determining the viewpoint and orientation of a given scene, and it can produce familiar objects in accordance with specific instructions regarding angle and location.

One of the most captivating aspects of DALL-E is its talent to blend diverse concepts to form novel images, some of which might not exist in reality. However, this capability to understand and generate text forms the groundwork for DALL-E's image generation.

DALL-E 2, the successor to DALL-E, was introduced to generate more photorealistic images at higher resolutions. It uses a modified GLIDE model that incorporates projected CLIP text embeddings. DALL-E 2 can perform a variety of tasks, including image manipulation and interpolation.

In addition to generating images from scratch, DALL-E 2 has additional capabilities like inpainting (performing edits to an image using language), generating new images that share the same essence as a given reference image but differ in how the details are put together, and transforming any aspect of an image using language.

In the field of architecture and design, these models are seen as powerful tools to explore, optimize, and test creative designs rapidly. Architects are already experimenting with these tools to explore complex issues like urban planning.

What does DALL-E do?

DALL-E is a generative AI model developed by OpenAI that creates images from textual descriptions, also known as "prompts". It's capable of generating a wide variety of images, from photorealistic to surreal, based on the text input it receives.

The process works as follows: you provide a textual description of an image, and DALL-E generates it. This can include concepts that don't exist in the real world, showcasing the model's ability to combine language and visual processing.

DALL-E can also modify several attributes of an object, such as its color or the number of times it appears in an image. However, the success rate of these modifications can depend on how the caption is phrased.

The model has a wide range of applications, including in creative fields, education, design, and marketing. For instance, it can generate custom artwork, visual aids, and illustrations from textual descriptions.

However, it's important to note that while DALL-E can produce impressive images, it may struggle with certain elements such as composition, spelling, and objects it doesn't recognize.

DALL-E is publicly available and works via a credit-based system, where each credit yields a certain number of images.

Can I try DALL-E for free?

Yes, you can try DALL-E for free, but there are some conditions and alternatives to consider:

  1. OpenAI's DALL-E: OpenAI initially offered free credits to users of DALL-E. Every user received 50 free credits during their first month of use and 15 free credits every subsequent month. However, this free trial feature has been discontinued. Now, if you want to use DALL-E, you will have to purchase credits to generate images from your prompts.

  2. DALL-E 3 in Bing Chat: Microsoft has made DALL-E 3 available for free in Bing Chat. You can use it to generate images based on your text prompts.

  3. DALL-E Mini: If you're looking for an open-source alternative, DALL-E Mini provided by Hotpot.ai allows anyone to gain image generation capabilities with the right computer.

Remember, the images you create with DALL-E are yours to use, and you don't need OpenAI's permission to reprint, sell, or merchandise them.

Is DALL-E free of rights?

OpenAI's DALL-E generates images that users can use for various purposes, including commercial ones. According to OpenAI's Content Policy and Terms, users own the images they create with DALL-E, including the right to reprint, sell, and merchandise, regardless of whether an image was generated through a free or paid credit. However, the terms of use also state that OpenAI owns the images you create, which they refer to as "generations," but they grant you the right to sell your DALL-E images.

It's important to note that the official release of DALL-E 3 will not allow any copyrighted content. This means that while you can use the images generated by DALL-E, you cannot use it to generate images of copyrighted content.

There are some discussions and debates about the legal aspects of using DALL-E generated images for commercial projects. Some argue that the images do not have any copyright whatsoever and are in the public domain. Others point out that while you can use DALL-E generated images, it's not verifiable where the images came from, and AI is not a person or entity that can hold copyrights.

Is DALL-E good or bad?

DALL-E, a generative AI model developed by OpenAI, has both positive and negative aspects.

On the positive side, DALL-E can generate images from textual descriptions quickly and efficiently, which can save time, costs, and resources compared to traditional methods of image creation. It can interpret and visualize abstract or complex concepts, which could potentially expand the boundaries of creativity and art. DALL-E can also create highly customized visuals based on specific input descriptions, which could be particularly useful in fields like advertising, gaming, and design where unique, tailored visuals are often needed. It can democratize access to custom graphic design, potentially allowing small businesses and independent creators to generate custom visuals. DALL-E 2, an improved version, generates more realistic and accurate images with 4x greater resolution.

However, DALL-E also has limitations. It struggles to understand the contextual relationships between objects in an image, which can result in unnatural or unrealistic image outputs. Generating images using DALL-E can be computationally expensive, requiring high-end hardware and large amounts of computing resources. The output is not deterministic, meaning it's not possible to control the exact outcome of the generated image. There may also be limitations in terms of the resolution of the images it can generate. If the training data contains biases, these biases may be reflected in the images generated by the model.

Furthermore, DALL-E has strict ethical and safety guidelines that limit its ability to generate violent, hateful, or adult content. While these safeguards are essential in preventing harmful content generation and misuse, they can also occasionally lead to over-conservativeness, hindering creative expression.

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